Conclusion

The game of bottlenecks, that is what Crysis Remastered should be renamed.  This game has the most bottlenecks we’ve ever encountered, and it may not be CPU bottlenecks alone, though that is certainly a major part of it.  This remastered game feels completely un-optimized.  The graphics improvements feel slapped on, and the engine and APIs cannot take the load.  It’s like half-way there to being a good Remaster.

Performance

Let’s back up a minute though and talk about the performance.  The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition struggles in this game.  It certainly does not perform like other games we have experienced in the last couple of weeks with it.  However, you can still have a good gameplay experience and high framerates on the RTX 3080 graphics card, by turning off or turning down a few things.

Firstly, the “Can It Run Crysis?” graphics quality mode drastically reduces performance.  In fact, it is more of a burden on performance than turning on the Ray Tracing quality feature.  At 4K you can forget running this game at “Can It Run Crysis?” even without Ray Tracing on the RTX 3080 FE.  You’ll find instead, at 4K that the “Very High” graphics quality option provides much better performance.  Without Ray Tracing it will average near 60FPS and perform very smoothly. 

You will also most likely not find the game very enjoyable with any level of Ray Tracing enabled at 4K either.  Even at “Very High” quality performs is down to 43 FPS at 4K.  The only way you’d be able to run Ray Tracing decently on the RTX 3080 FE at 4K in this game would be to lower the graphics quality below “Very High”, like “Medium” for example.  But then, at that point, it’s not worth it.

Things get a little better at 1440p.  At 1440p you can actually run the “Can It Run Crysis?” quality mode without Ray Tracing.  It won’t be pretty though, you’ll average around 47FPS in our testing, but you will experience minimums and drops that go below 30FPS.  In reality, you are probably still better off just running in “Very High” with any level of Ray Tracing mode turned on, this will get you still 56FPS average and a playable experience.

So that’s our recommendation on the GeForce RTX 3080 FE, go for 1440p with “Very High” quality and “Very High” Ray Tracing. At either resolution, you’ll suffer with “Can It Run Crysis?” and you’ll suffer at 4K with Ray Tracing.

Overall we found the game runs smoother with NO Ray Tracing.  We did experience some hitching and pausing with any level of Ray Tracing enabled on each video card.  Turning on Ray Tracing seems to add some kind of hitching issue with the gameplay, it is not always smooth.  However, turn OFF Ray Tracing and the gameplay is much smoother in our testing.

The Experience

Now see, this remaster is supposed to be all about image quality, but we just weren’t feeling it.  Firstly, you can see in our testing we encountered an anisotropic/filtering issue.  Though the textures have been upgraded, they look like a blur fest even in the “Can It Run Crysis?” mode.  We found that forcing 16X AF from the driver control panel vastly improves texture quality.  This was supposed to be one of the defining upgrades for the game, but it just sits flat with the horrible filtering the game is doing.  Those 8K textures just don’t feel like 8K textures.

The game also feels in certain areas like it is a game of yesteryear.  It is as if parts of the game just didn’t get the final fit and polish that other parts got.  Therefore, it’s a mismatch of quality.  One area that is wholly mismatched is the physics and vegetation animations.  Stuck at 30FPS it’s like some weird slideshow when you see a fern bouncing around.  The physics are definitely yesteryear in how abrupt and awkward they behave.  The AI is also pretty bad as well, we saw many an NPC just doing outright stupid things like continually walking into a barricade shooting at absolutely nothing.  When you get close to the NPCs they do not react like you are right there, they move in weird directions trying to come after you, but get it wrong each time.  It feels like really old AI.  The experience is not that great.

The Bottlenecking

One of the worse things about this game is the extreme bottlenecking.  One area for sure that is causing this is the game engine/API and CPU.  The original Crysis was most definitely focused on single-threaded performance.  Times have changed, a lot, but unfortunately, Crytek did not update the game to take advantage of the multi-threading we have today.  This game, under DX11, stumbles and falls at multi-threading.  It utilizes about 4 CPU cores max, and that’s just it, no further.  It has some severe CPU limitations.  What that means is severe CPU bottlenecking, much like the first game. 

This game greatly needs DX12 or Vulkan to relieve that bottlenecking, but it doesn’t have it, and that is just odd for a Remaster such as this.  Beyond the CPU we feel the game is just wholly un-optimized.  It feels like there are bottlenecks all over the place not related to the CPU.  The game engine is choking, but on what we don’t know.  The game changes feel like slapped on wallpaper, but the foundation behind it is still being held on with old glue.

We also feel that the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition is not being utilized to its potential in this game.  It is being held back, maybe partly due to game optimization and partly due to driver optimization for the game.  The video card and architecture is brand new, and this game debuted right at launch, so maybe Crytek didn’t have a card to test it on and optimize with.  It shows cause this game needs some tender loving care with the Ampere architecture for optimization to truly utilize it well.  That’s a shame.

Final Points

We really wanted to get excited about this game.  Crysis is iconic, it’s epic, it has a history and reputation.  Unfortunately, Crysis Remastered has tarnished that name.  This feels like a half-try to us, a sloppy attempt to bring back the nostalgia and use the name to drum up some coin.  This Remaster is poorly executed, highly limited, and doesn’t even feature all the game chapters as the original.  It’s not a complete game.  This Remastered version needs another few months in the oven, more optimization and implementation, and with the full number of levels.  I would say nice try guys, but then I’d be lying. 

Discussion


Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

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11 Comments

  1. Man, that’s disappointing. I never played the original and I was hoping this would be worthwhile on 30XX/Big Navi.
  2. Thanks, @Brent_Justice for all your hard work in researching this. At this point, at least until, if, Crytek puts updates out to perhaps improve it, I recommend to people wanting the best version of the original to go to gog.com. While reading the review thread there I came across a post stating it is the 64-bit version and @Armenius , who has the original physical copy of the game w/ 64-bit executable, went there are bought it as well. It’s now been verified to be true. I’m thinking of doing the same soon.
  3. This ‘Remastered’ version might be as unoptimized as the original…

    The only real extra draw here is the ‘Can it run Crysis?’ meme tie-in, but since they didn’t port it to a version of CryEngine that supports DX12 or Vulkan, among other features like proper multithreading support, it really seems to fail on that front.

    Had they ported it to a ‘modern’ engine, it could have been a knockout.

  4. Thanks, @Brent_Justice for all your hard work in researching this. At this point, at least until, if, Crytek puts updates out to perhaps improve it, I recommend to people wanting the best version of the original to go to gog.com. While reading the review thread there I came across a post stating it is the 64-bit version and @Armenius , who has the original physical copy of the game w/ 64-bit executable, went there are bought it as well. It’s now been verified to be true. I’m thinking of doing the same soon.

    GOG is definitely the best place to buy the game.

  5. GOG is definitely the best place to buy the game.

    At this point, at least until, if, Crytek puts updates out to perhaps improve it, I recommend to people wanting the best version of the original to go to gog.com. While reading the review thread there I came across a post stating it is the 64-bit version and @Armenius , who has the original physical copy of the game w/ 64-bit executable, went there are bought it as well. It’s now been verified to be true. I’m thinking of doing the same soon.

    Yeah I was gonna say, grab dat shiznit on GOG. I managed to grab it and Crysis Warhead for $5 each on GOG back in 2017, and yeah they both come with the 64-bit exes.

    Between Brent’s review and the DF review, it is extremely clear this "remaster" is a nice big hearty bowl of feces.

  6. it and Crysis Warhead

    Years ago I cobbled together the 64-bit executable for Warhead into the original 32-bit version. That one was pretty easy to find. Seems Crytek fully committed with Warhead. That project sort of worked(deleted 32-bit folder and replaced w/ Warhead’s). The only problem was that it was a bit crash-happy. It was funny seeing the Warhead menu but they must’ve coded both the same way because it knew how to load all assets/levels.

    Well went ahead and got it from GOG last night. Should’ve done it a long time ago. Only had a few minutes to tinker but saw it support 32:9 5120×1440 from the start(although I had select the res a couple of times before it stuck during the first start-up). The game just worked at a solid 60 fps with my 2080 Ti hanging around 70-80%. Granted I didn’t really go beyond the beach but that’s still night and day compared to this remaster. The remaster can look better but the play experience is garbage by comparison.

    There are rumblings around the net that DLSS is coming in a patch soon.

  7. Years ago I cobbled together the 64-bit executable for Warhead into the original 32-bit version. That one was pretty easy to find. Seems Crytek fully committed with Warhead. That project sort of worked(deleted 32-bit folder and replaced w/ Warhead’s). The only problem was that it was a bit crash-happy. It was funny seeing the Warhead menu but they must’ve coded both the same way because it knew how to load all assets/levels.

    Well went ahead and got it from GOG last night. Should’ve done it a long time ago. Only had a few minutes to tinker but saw it support 32:9 5120×1440 from the start(although I had select the res a couple of times before it stuck during the first start-up). The game just worked at a solid 60 fps with my 2080 Ti hanging around 70-80%. Granted I didn’t really go beyond the beach but that’s still night and day compared to this remaster. The remaster can look better but the play experience is garbage by comparison.

    There are rumblings around the net that DLSS is coming in a patch soon.

    Note that it still has the issue of picking the lowest or first refresh rate listed for your monitor. My usual trick of setting preferred refresh rate in the NVIDIA control panel didn’t work this time around, so I was stuck at 24 Hz. Unfortunately I already forgot what I did to fix it this time…

  8. There has been a recent update to this.

    Brent,

    Running Crysis Remastered at 4K, starting with the highest quality preset to the lowest while staying in the game, Mission 2 Recovery. Using 16gb Vega FE. When going from the higher preset quality setting to the lower ones, the vram allocation went down each time, in other words the game is not automatically allocating the vram capacity of the video card but appears to be what the game needs.

    • "Can It Run Crysis?" took 13gb at 4K, very consistent in the level
    • "Very High" took 11.2gb at 4K, very consistent
    • "High" took 6.7gb
    • "Med" took 4.8gb, this turns off raytracing
    • "Low" took 4.4gb, also has no raytracing

    The 3080 would not have enough vram at 4K with "Very High" or Can It "Run Crysis?" – I Would expect stalls, stutters at points in the game and would not be smooth.

    Raytracing is doing more than just reflections, it does bounce as in GI for color as well as shadows, indoor scenes can be greatly improved in IQ. Digital Foundry did a rundown of raytracing and settings to get 60fps. The presets are really unbalanced, you can get some good IQ and fps with settings. You can run a number of the settings at "Can It Do Crysis?" while others best be on high or even medium.

  9. There has been a recent update to this.

    Brent,

    Running Crysis Remastered at 4K, starting with the highest quality preset to the lowest while staying in the game, Mission 2 Recovery. Using 16gb Vega FE. When going from the higher preset quality setting to the lower ones, the vram allocation went down each time, in other words the game is not automatically allocating the vram capacity of the video card but appears to be what the game needs.

    • "Can It Run Crysis?" took 13gb at 4K, very consistent in the level
    • "Very High" took 11.2gb at 4K, very consistent
    • "High" took 6.7gb
    • "Med" took 4.8gb, this turns off raytracing
    • "Low" took 4.4gb, also has no raytracing

    The 3080 would not have enough vram at 4K with "Very High" or Can It "Run Crysis?" – I Would expect stalls, stutters at points in the game and would not be smooth.

    Raytracing is doing more than just reflections, it does bounce as in GI for color as well as shadows, indoor scenes can be greatly improved in IQ. Digital Foundry did a rundown of raytracing and settings to get 60fps. The presets are really unbalanced, you can get some good IQ and fps with settings. You can run a number of the settings at "Can It Do Crysis?" while others best be on high or even medium.

    I’m not sure when Brent will be revisiting this to do an update for the performance review but I’m sure he will. I’d expect though, it might be after one, or more, updates to the game. There have been rumors they are planning to patch in DLSS as well. I did finish my playthrough of it this weekend, after this update, and noticed significant performance improvements. I’d say the game is mostly playable at this point, at least with a 2080 Ti @ 5120×1440. VRAM usage is a bit insane. It’ll interesting to see how much it thinks it needs when I’m able to get a hold of a 3090. I witnessed it hammering 11 GB using settings at high or above. The game still needs work but, for me at least, it seemed to play much better than at launch. I was even able to use ray tracing at the performance level with 58-80 fps. If I lowered some other settings a little I could even crank it up one more level.

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